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Genus Austrostipa Family Poaceae

Description: Perennials (rarely annuals) of various habit. Auricles often present, sometimes one-sided, grading into an usually membranous ligule.

Blade rolled or folded in bud, convolute, terete or flat, usually scabrous or hairy.

Inflorescence an open or contracted panicle, axis persistent or falling as a whole. Spikelets borne singly, pedicellate, disarticulating above the glumes; 1 bisexual floret. Glumes equal or unequal. 1–5-nerved, longer than the floret; a long or short bearded callus below each floret. Lemma terete, hardened, with convolute or involute margins enclosing the palea, usually 5-nerved, with or without 1–2 minute lobes, awned from the tip or between the lobes; awn with once or twice geniculate twisted column and a straight or curved bristle.

Palea membranous. 0–2-nerved, longer or shorter than the lemma. Lodicles 3 or 2.

Distribution and occurrence: A genus of c. 65 species endemic to temperate regions or habitats in Australasia. Many species are important components of native pastures. The mature fruits frequently penetrate the skin, mouths and eyes of stock causing discomfort resulting in lack of condition of stock as well as downgrading the value of the meat. The diaspores with awns and calluses also contaminate wool.

Formerly in the genus Stipa.

Text by S.W.L. Jacobs
Taxon concept: Jacobs and Everett 1996; Jacobs et al. 2000.

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Austrostipa acrociliata,    Austrostipa aristiglumis,    Austrostipa bigeniculata,    Austrostipa blackii,    Austrostipa densiflora,    Austrostipa drummondii,    Austrostipa elegantissima,    Austrostipa eremophila,    Austrostipa flavescens,    Austrostipa gibbosa,    Austrostipa metatoris,    Austrostipa mollis,    Austrostipa nitida,    Austrostipa nivicola,    Austrostipa nodosa,    Austrostipa nullanulla,    Austrostipa platychaeta,    Austrostipa puberula,    Austrostipa pubescens,    Austrostipa pubinodis,    Austrostipa ramosissima,    Austrostipa rudis,    Austrostipa scabra,    Austrostipa semibarbata,    Austrostipa setacea,    Austrostipa stipoides,    Austrostipa stuposa,    Austrostipa trichophylla,    Austrostipa tuckeri,    Austrostipa verticillata,    Austrostipa wakoolica

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